This is not so much an introduction to Mei Tais as it is a geeky comparison. When I first launched WrapYourBaby.com in 2005 I included instructions for both wraps and Mei Tais. My favorite carriers were woven wraps and Mei Tais and I wanted to teach others about them at a time when there weren’t local groups and spotting other babywearers “in the wild” was rare. Now that my site is dedicated to woven wrapping, I wanted to find a way to incorporate these images with my oldest daughter from all those years ago. I don’t have the originals anymore, so I can’t offer bigger versions, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway in the context of this comparison! Read More
Later, a pass that went from shoulder to hip and did not cross between baby’s legs began to be referred to as a Rebozo pass, and here’s a video I made in 2010 demonstrating how to insert your baby under both crosses of the Front Cross Carry:
And here’s one I made around the same time, demonstrating a Burp Hold:
This brings up an interesting point of distinguishing a “hold” from a “carry.” To me, a carry has always been how you tie on the wrap, whereas a hold refers to the position of the baby inside the wrap. Baby can be in an upright hold, cradle hold, football hold, etc in any of the many carries. Nowadays babywearing educators almost always recommend the upright hold, so it has become less necessary to differentiate.
So this burp hold was done with a Front Cross Carry. And this Front Cross Carry could also be called a Front Double Hammock because it is done with two rebozo passes instead of cross passes. But then again, it was the fashion at the time to keep a newborn’s legs “froggied” inside the wrap in all of the carries. So any newborn carry had rebozo passes instead of cross passes and you just added “with legs froggied” to the name of the carry instead of giving it a new name.
It wasn’t just Front Cross Carry. If my baby fell asleep in a Back Wrap Cross Carry and I wanted to provide head support, I would often untie and change the top layer of the carry from a cross pass that went between baby’s legs to a rebozo pass that made it easier to get the wrap positioned high over the back of baby’s head. This variation also happens to be great for reigning in a baby who likes to lean back in a Back Wrap Cross Carry.
As far as I know, no one has given a new name to the BWCC variation with rebozo passes YET.
As wrapping has taken root anew in this culture, more specific terminology has developed around it and this is good. It helps us to communicate about it. Since most of us do not share a physical village with other wrappers, our online village needs some clear communication for long distance support and assistance.
Every wrap carry is made up of one or more passes and these are the most common:
Rucksack pass goes straight across baby and then up over both of the wearer’s shoulders.
Horizontal pass goes straight across baby and then under both of the wearer’s arms.
Rebozo pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders to under the wearer’s opposite arm.
Cross pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders, in between baby’s legs, to under the wearer’s opposite arm.
Once you understand the passes well, and are familiar with the properties of each kind of pass, it is easy to customize a wrap carry just for you.
The difference between a Front Cross Carry and a Front Double Hammock Carry is that FDHC is a FCC with rebozo passes instead of cross passes.
I think it might be easier for a newish wrapper to do a FDHC if she already knows the FCC and is told to just try FCC with rebozo passes. She will not think she is learning a whole new carry, and she will have a head start on understanding what to do with the fabric.
Additionally, if she is familiar with rebozo passes, naming the passes tells her the best ways to form and tighten each pass. She thinks “rebozo pass” and knows what to do with one of those.
While everyone might come up with a different system of naming wrap carries (and most every wrap carry is named by a different person with a different system), I find it most useful to stick with the most popular names so that the subject does not become confused. But you will find that I like to describe the carry in terms that I think may be helpful to someone who needs to understand the carry in order to use it better.
Naming Wrap Carries:
I recently attempted to give a name to a tutorial that my friend Karen made for my website. She told me it was a Jordan’s Back Carry variation. I’d never seen JBC done with a chest pass and I thought it bore more resemblance to a little known Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry that a couple of moms have made videos for.
The thing is, if I had named the Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry, I would have called it a JBC variation, probably JBC with horizontal chest pass. And I would call Karen’s JBC the same thing even though the passes are done in a different order than the ladies doing the NWP. That is more a matter of preference than an opportunity to name a new carry, in my opinion.
There are tons of JBC variations and the common element is that it has 3 passes, one each: rebozo pass, cross pass, horizontal pass. As a result, it can offer the benefits of each of these kinds of passes, although some people feel lopsided in it because it does not have the same kind of pass going one way as another. So people do JBC variations “with two cross passes” and other similar. In this case, it is called JBC even though it does not have the 3 passes I referenced. Similarly the Short JBC has only 2 of the 3 passes (and that is what makes it short). Confused yet?
So I asked some people which name they thought I ought to put at the top of this tutorial and opinions were mixed and included one suggestion to call it neither of those but to call it a Double Hammock variation instead. Specifically: Double Hammock Carry TAS (tied at shoulder) with one cross pass.
And yes, that describes it exactly, too.
It comes from having the same four basic passes combined to make up hundreds of carries! You can relate one carry to almost any other carry and which one it gets named after is the whim of the first person to name when it becomes popular. Perhaps Kristi or I could have named the Front Double Hammock Carry years ago, but instead we were just demonstrating a boring old Front Cross Carry beneath the crosses…